Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(a) No person shall do any of the following:
(1) Engage in bookmaking, or knowingly engage in conduct that facilitates bookmaking.
(2) Establish, promote, or operate or knowingly engage in conduct that facilitates any game of chance conducted for profit or any scheme of chance.
(3) Knowingly procure, transmit, exchange, or engage in conduct that facilitates the procurement, transmission, or exchange of information for use in establishing odds or determining winners in connection with bookmaking or with any game of chance conducted for profit or any scheme of chance.
(4) Engage in betting or in playing any scheme or game of chance as a substantial source of income or livelihood.
(5) Conduct, or participate in the conduct of, a sweepstakes with the use of a sweepstakes terminal device at a sweepstakes terminal device facility and either:
A. Give to another person any item described in Ohio R.C. 2915.01(VV)(1), (VV)(2), (VV)(3), or (VV)(4) as a prize for playing or participating in a sweepstakes; or
B. Give to another person any merchandise prize, or a redeemable voucher for a merchandise prize, the wholesale value of which is in excess of ten dollars ($10.00) and which is awarded as a single entry for playing or participating in a sweepstakes. Redeemable vouchers shall not be redeemable for a merchandise prize that has a wholesale value of more than ten dollars ($10.00).
(6) Conduct, or participate in the conduct of, a sweepstakes with the use of a sweepstakes terminal device at a sweepstakes terminal device facility without first obtaining a current annual “certificate of registration” from the Attorney General as required by Ohio R.C. 2915.02(F).
(7) With purpose to violate division (a)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this section, acquire, possess, control, or operate any gambling device.
(b) For purposes of division (a)(1) of this section, a person facilitates bookmaking if the person in any way knowingly aids an illegal bookmaking operation, including, without limitation, placing a bet with a person engaged in or facilitating illegal bookmaking. For purposes of division (a)(2) of this section, a person facilitates a game of chance conducted for profit or a scheme of chance if the person in any way knowingly aids in the conduct or operation of any such game or scheme, including, without limitation, playing any such game or scheme.
(c) This section does not prohibit conduct in connection with gambling expressly permitted by law.
(d) This section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) Games of chance, if all of the following apply:
A. The games of chance are not craps for money or roulette for money.
B. The games of chance are conducted by a charitable organization that is and has received from the Internal Revenue Service a determination letter that is currently in effect, stating that the organization is exempt from federal income taxation under IRC 501(a) and described in IRC 501(c)(3).
C. The games of chance are conducted at festivals of the charitable organization that are conducted not more than a total of five days a calendar year, and are conducted on premises owned by the charitable organization for a period of no less than one year immediately preceding the conducting of the games of chance, on premises leased from a governmental unit, or on premises that are leased from a veteran's or fraternal organization and that have been owned by the lessor veteran's or fraternal organization for a period of no less than one year immediately preceding the conducting of the games of chance. A charitable organization shall not lease premises from a veteran's or fraternal organization to conduct a festival described in this division, if the veteran's or fraternal organization already has leased the premises twelve times during the preceding year to charitable organizations for that purpose. If a charitable organization leases premises from a veteran's or fraternal organization to conduct a festival described in this division, the charitable organization shall not pay a rental rate for the premises per day of the festival that exceeds the rental rate per bingo session that a charitable organization may pay under Ohio R.C. 2915.09(B)(1) or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance when it leases premises from another charitable organization to conduct bingo games.
D. All of the money or assets received from the games of chance after deduction only of prizes paid out during the conduct of the games of chance are used by, given, donated or otherwise transferred to any organization that is described in IRC 509(a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) and is either a governmental unit or an organization that is tax exempt under IRC 501(a) and described in IRC 501(c)(3).
E. The games of chance are not conducted during or within ten hours of a bingo game conducted for amusement purposes only pursuant to Ohio R.C. 2915.12 or a substantially similar municipal ordinance. No person shall receive any commission, wage, salary, reward, tip, donation, gratuity, or other form of compensation, directly or indirectly, for operating or assisting in the operation of any game of chance.
(2) Any tag fishing tournament, as defined in Ohio R.C. 1531.01, operated under a permit issued under Ohio R.C. 1533.92.
(3) Bingo conducted by a charitable organization that holds a license issued under Ohio R.C. 2915.08.
(e) Division (d) of this section shall not be construed to authorize the sale, lease, or other temporary or permanent transfer of the right to conduct games of chance, as granted by that division, by any charitable organization that is granted that right.
(f) Any person desiring to conduct, or participate in the conduct of, a sweepstakes with the use of a sweepstakes terminal device at a sweepstakes terminal device facility shall first register with the Office of the Attorney General and obtain an annual certificate of registration by providing a filing fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00) and all information as required by rule adopted under Ohio R.C. 2915.02(H). Not later than the tenth day of each month, each sweepstakes terminal device operator shall file a sweepstakes terminal device monthly report with the Attorney General and provide a filing fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) and all information required by rule adopted under Ohio R.C. 2915.02(H). All information provided to the Attorney General under this division shall be available to law enforcement upon request.
(g) (1) A person may apply to the Attorney General, on a form prescribed by the Attorney General, for a certificate of compliance that the person is not operating a sweepstakes terminal device facility. The form shall require the person to include the address of the business location where sweepstakes terminal devices will be used and to make the following certifications:
A. That the person will not use more than two sweepstakes terminal devices at the business location;
B. That the retail value of sweepstakes prizes to be awarded at the business location using sweepstakes terminal devices during a reporting period will be less than 3% of the gross revenue received at the business location during the reporting period;
C. That no other form of gaming except lottery ticket sales as authorized under Ohio R.C. Chapter 3770 will be conducted at the business location or in an adjoining area of the business location;
D. That any sweepstakes terminal device at the business location will not allow any deposit of any money, coin, or token, or the use of any credit card, debit card, prepaid card, or any other method of similar payment to be used, directly or indirectly, to participate in a sweepstakes;
E. That notification of any prize will not take place on the same day as a participant’s sweepstakes entry; and
F. That the person consents to provide any other information to the Attorney General as required by rule adopted under Ohio R.C. 2915.02(H).
(2) The filing fee for a certificate of compliance is two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00). The Attorney General may charge up to an additional two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for reasonable expenses resulting from any investigation related to an application for a certificate of compliance.
(3) A certificate of compliance is effective for one year. The certificate holder may reapply for a certificate of compliance. A person issued a certificate of compliance shall file semiannual reports with the Attorney General stating the number of sweepstakes terminal devices at the business location and that the retail value of prizes awarded at the business location using sweepstakes terminal devices is less than 3% of the gross revenue received at the business location.
(h) Whoever violates this section is guilty of gambling, a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of any gambling offense, gambling is a felony to be prosecuted under appropriate State law. Notwithstanding this division, failing to file a sweepstakes terminal device monthly report as required by division (f) of this section or the semiannual report required by division (g) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(ORC 2915.02(A) - (G), (K))